Fuel Taxes

The California agency primarily responsible for fuel taxes is the State Board of Equalization (BOE). Interstate fuel users who operate a qualified motor vehicle in California and another state or a Canadian province are required to be licensed for fuel tax purposes.

Qualified Vehicle

A qualified vehicle is one used or designed to transport people or property if it has three or more axles, or has two axles and a gross vehicle weight or registered gross vehicle weight exceeding 26,000 lbs (11,797 kilograms), or when used in combination, it has a combined registered gross vehicle weight exceeding 26,000 lbs.

Fuel Types

For fuel used on California highways, all fuel types other than gasoline must be accounted for.


Commercial interstate fuel users in California must have one of the following licenses:

  • International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) License: If you are traveling into California on a regular basis, you may want to obtain an IFTA license from your base jurisdiction (other than Mexico). Once registered, you will be required to file returns to report the fuel used in California and pay any taxes that are due. If your base of operations is in California, IFTA application forms and IFTA-related questions can be directed to the BOE.
  • California Fuel Trip Permit (CFTP): This Permit allows you to travel in California for four consecutive days without securing the IFTA License. The Board does not issue permits for more than four days. The Board may deny the issuance of more than one CFTP if the Board determines that the carrier is bringing vehicles into this state on a regular basis. Cost for the CFTP is $30.00 and can be purchased through Department of Motor Vehicle or the Board of Equalization. (Note: This permit is not the same as the 4-day trip permit from Dept. of Motor Vehicles discussed on Vehicle Registration.)

Contact the State Board of Equalization:

Board of Equalization

Phone: (800) 400-7115 or (916) 322-9669

Penalties: If you enter California without the proper license or permits, you could be subject to severe penalties. The penalty includes a $500.00 fine plus any other tax or interest owed, and would be immediately due.